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Health Has Got Talent event rewards educational excellence

School of Health Sciences event demonstrates excellence and innovation in teaching


The School of Health Sciences held its third 'Health Has Got Talent' event last month to promote excellence in education within the School.

Staff were asked to submit a project or innovation that they thought was worthy of recognition. Presenting their idea to an audience of their peers from across the School at an event in the Drysdale Building, a panel of three judges – including Dr Pam Parker (Learning Enhancement and Development - LEaD), Professor Stan Newman (School of Health Sciences) and Professor Nigel Duncan (School of Law) - chose the most innovative project with the winner receiving funding to further support its development. 

In an extremely high-quality field the winning project was created by Allison Harris and Gill Harrison from ultrasound. The project, called ‘Games with Aims’, adapted traditional games such as rummy, monopoly, crosswords and bingo to help students revise for exams and test their knowledge of different procedures and conditions that they might be presented with in their day-to-day work. Allison and Gill also delivered expert witness and funding scenarios to help ultrasound students better prepare for their role in the workplace.

Arnold Circus

Speaking about the award, Gill Harrison said: “When designing this resource we very much wanted to make learning fun and provide a teaching tool that was different from the traditional lecture. The use of real-life examples from expert witness scenarios to illustrations of how funding works in the NHS also helps show the students the importance of clear ultrasound images, accurate reports and also the cost of new ultrasound technologies. All these are important tools for them once in the place of work and providing invaluable training in a safe environment.”

The second placed initiative was a tie, with ‘Simple Methods for Complex Learning’ by Lorna Saunder (Mental Health Nursing) and ‘Turning Assignments into Healthcare Resources: A Student-Lecturer-Educational Technologist Collaboration’ by Ursula Smith (Child Health) and Morris Pamplin (LEaD) both jointly awarded the silver prize.

Lorna Saunder’s project used simulation and role-play, enhanced by online storyboarding, to give students a realistic feel of working in the health service. Having reflected on these themes, students’ opinions changed dramatically with many of them praising the insight it provided. As part of the Child Health and LEaD collaboration, students on the BSc Nursing course created leaflets or audiovisual projects to reflect on their teaching. There was a diverse range of topics covered including how to look after our ageing community to an introduction to transgender, which was designed as a resource for nursing staff. Another student also produced an audiovisual tool for parents with premature babies to help reassure them during that difficult time.

Third place was also tied, this time between three projects, with Sophie Willis and Ricardo Khine’s presentation on the benefits of the benefits of service user participation in pre-registration radiography programmes tied with a project by Emma Fitzpatrick and Ioanna Georgiadou which used a variety of innovative teaching methods to help students understand a variety of voice disorders. The final project concerned pre-registration midwifery education. Presented by Thomas Hanley and Mandie Scamell, the collaboration between LEaD and Midwifery used role play to increase students’ understanding of decision-making and the emotional complexities involved with such decisions.

Speaking about the awards, Dr Rachael-Anne Knight, Associate Dean for Education Technology and Innovation and organiser of the event, said: “Health Has Got Talent 2015 really demonstrated what a fantastic range of talent we have in the School of Health Sciences. We innovate in this School like nowhere else, and all entrants demonstrated exciting and worthwhile projects with enormous impact on our students and courses. This event showcases healthcare education at its very best with staff using the most up-to-date and imaginative methods in education. We are very proud of them all.”

The other commended projects were:

  • ‘My Experiences in the Big Chair: Service User Experiences of Eye Diseases’ by Byki Huntjens
  • ‘Supporting Students to Widen Access to Therapy for People with Parkinson's Disease’ by Kirsty Harrison and Katerina Hilari
  • 'The Public Health History Walk: Setting the Community in a Social, Political and Historical Context’ by Rosa Benato
  • ‘Jigsaw of Advanced Practice: Micro Teaching for Critical Approaches’ by Alison Coutts, Jacqueline Davies and Endang Scanlan
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